Wednesday, January 10th
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 65, Northwestern Wildcats 62
BoilerUp89: Northwestern failed to keep pace with Michigan State and Purdue atop the Big Ten leaderboard despite having a four point lead with a minute to go. Cam Spencer hit the go ahead three with 15 seconds left and Northwestern responded with a turnover and then a missed three point as they attempted to tie the game at the buzzer.
The Wildcats held Cliff Omoruyi in check by limiting him to just 4 points, but they did not do a good job guarding the three point line against Rutgers. Cam Spencer continued his hot shooting with a 6/7 outing from behind the arc, led all scorers with 23 points, and hit his second game winning shot in 3 games. Spencer is now 19/30 from deep in his last five games and up to 48.2% on the year. Overall the Knights of Piscataway were a blistering 61.1% from three in this game.
Northwestern will look back on this game as one they could have had but left opportunities on the table. They went just 10 of 18 from the free throw line. Berry, Buie, and Audige were all in double figures although Buie and Audige weren’t very efficient in getting there.
MaximumSam: I’m disappointed this game wasn’t 32-31.
Penn State Nittany Lions 85, Indiana Hoosiers 66
BoilerUp89: Penn State shot Indiana out of the gym Wednesday night with a three point shooting contest between Seth Lundy and Andrew Funk. The contest was a draw as both went 7/12 from behind the arc to combine for 14 of Penn State’s 18 made three pointers. Lundy finished with 25 points and surpassed the 1000 career points mark while Funk achieved 23 points.
This game was tight for the first 15 minutes, but Penn State used a late run in the 1st half to build a 9 point lead at the half and then pulled away in the second half behind their hot shooting. We figured this would be a bounce back game for one of these squads and it was for Penn State.
Although Indiana outrebounded the Nittany Lions by 9, then were cold from behind the three point line and had more trouble scoring thru the low post than I would have expected against a smaller Penn State roster. Trayce Jackson Davis recorded another double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but was just 4/10 from the field and 6/10 from the charity stripe. Many Indiana fans will no doubt be disappointed, but its hard to beat many teams that make 18 three pointers.
MaximumSam: Penn State went pure net burning mode in this one. They shot an EFG of nearly 70% and whipped the Hoosiers despite getting a just all right game from Jalen Pickett. Neither Pickett nor TJD were particularly impressive in this game, but the difference was the Nits got big time contributions from Seth Lundy and Andrew Funk, while the Hoosiers didn’t get a ton from anyone else.
Thursday, January 11th
#216 Minnesota Gophers (6-8, 0-4) at # 11 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-5, 2-2), 5:30 pm, FS1
BoilerUp89: The Buckeyes will try to bounce back from two consecutive losses with a game against current Big Ten bottom dweller Minnesota. Zed Key is still questionable to play and the Buckeyes defense was certainly questionable against Maryland without him on the court.
Minnesota meanwhile has quietly strung together three consecutive one-possession games against Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Chicago’s team: Chicago State. Playing at Ohio State is a more difficult task than any of those, but with the Buckeyes possibly down a key contributor and Minnesota continuing to play hard in what is probably a lost year, stranger things have happened - like 2015 Rutgers beating Wisconsin.
MaximumSam: Good Lord Buckeyes please don’t me have to take on the Holtmann Haters by losing to Minnesota.
#71 Michigan Wolverines (9-6, 3-1) at #45 Iowa Hawkeyes (10-6, 2-3), 6 pm, ESPN2
BoilerUp89: Michigan will try to make it a three way tie atop the B1G standings as they travel to Iowa. I can’t keep track of who all Hunter Dickinson has insulted this year, but I’ll assume he’s talked shit about Iowa at some point. Who hasn’t? That will likely give Iowa some added motivation to take down Michigan and claw their way back to .500 in B1G play.
All eyes though will be on the coaching boxes. This would be a really neat opportunity for an All-Access FS1 game where you get to hear and watch the coaches for the entirety of the game including during their timeouts. I mean who doesn’t want to see Fran lose his shit with a referee or Juwan threaten to throw hands at the slightest perceived slight? Sadly, the game is on ESPN2.